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February 2024
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Step Up Your Speaker Introductions

Put your best foot forward in any setting.

By Staff


Two men shaking hands at Toastmasters meeting

A strong introduction can get the speaker off to a good start, boost their presentation, and intrigue audiences. Here are some tips on doing that.

  • Think of the introduction as the fourth part of the speech, and as necessary as a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Pathways speakers usually write their own introductions for their evaluator to give. Try to create this piece right after you’ve finished writing the speech itself, when details are fresh in your mind. Include a few details about yourself or why you chose your topic.
  • When introducing someone in your club, usually a Pathways speaker, include the speaker’s path, level, and objectives, for the benefit of the audience. It’s helpful to practice the introduction, just as you would a speech, so it feels natural, even though you didn’t write it.
  • When you’re introducing someone in a non-Toastmasters setting (for instance, at work or a community event), the introduction should tell the audience who the person is and why their words matter.
  • If you’re the speaker at a non-Toastmasters event, ask if you can write your own introduction. It’s more likely to reveal your passion and expertise on the topic.
  • Just as you would with a club speech, give your written remarks to the person introducing you well before the speaking engagement. That gives them time to read it, practice it, and ask questions if needed.

A key rule for all introductions: Think short. A good rule of thumb is to make the introduction about 15% of the speech. That’s 45 seconds for a five-minute speech.


Resources

 

The Impact of a Strong Speaker Introduction by Greg Lewis, DTM

Introduction Construction by Maureen Zappala, DTM



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